Liner Note Author: Scott Schinder. This 20TH CENTURY MASTERS collection culls Eric Clapton's biggest hits from three extremely successful 1970s solo releases--his self-titled debut, 461 OCEAN BOULEVARD, and SLOWHAND. The breezy melancholy of "Promises," from '78s BACKLESS, and two cuts from LAYLA AND OTHER ASSORTED LOVE SONGS (recorded with Clapton's short-lived group Derek & the Dominos), including the epic "Layla," round out the set. Clapton's readings of two J.J. Cale songs, the creepy rocker "Cocaine" and the celebratory foot-stomper "After Midnight," are definitive FM fare, as is the smooth and easy, country-inflected "Lay Down Sally," complete with its irresistible, honky-tonk guitar lick. Treatments of Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" and Bob Marley's "I Shot the Sheriff" reinforce Clapton's penchant for faithful, heartfelt covers accented by his understated singing and matchless, fluid guitar work. Appearances by Leon Russell, Stephen Stills, and Rita Coolidge boost the already top-notch caliber of musicianship here. While classic-rock completists will want to own the individual records these singles appeared on, this BEST OF provides a concise roundup of the guitar legend's key '70s studio performances.